The state of Ohio has filed a lawsuit against Google and claims that the company engages in “discriminatory and anti-competitive” practices. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost claims that the company does not seek monetary damages, but rather asks that the company be declared a “common carrier” and regulated as a public utility.
“Google uses its dominance of internet search to steer Ohioans to Google’s own products — that’s discriminatory and anti-competitive,” Yost stated.
“When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access.”
In a prepared statement, Yost argued that Google’s ability to steer users to its own products like Google Flights and YouTube is unfair and potentially illegal. As a result, the state hopes to regulate Google the same way it regulates private airline companies, cable television and other entities
“[Google] has a duty not to artificially prioritize Google services and links higher than they would be displayed as a result of Google’s internet searches algorithms in which the algorithm is not programmed to prioritize Google’s owed products and services,” the lawsuit reads.
Google has not issued a response to this most recent lawsuit.